Stonegrip's Awakening

Through all those many years Stonegrip lay in waste, neither speaking to a soul nor eating any food. For his heart had hardened to all that life had meant and now meant no more. And his face had grown chiseled where the many tears had fallen and in his dark tomb he lay, neither wanting to live nor able to die.

Then in his deep grief he heard the piercing scream that rose him to his feet. And for the first time in ages he stepped from the cold rocks. He wandered in a daze out the door of his living tomb, into the maze, and in time came upon the Lair of Shehob.

There, being slowly spun into a web-like cocoon, the faintly living body of Goldenrod could be seen. And with his dwarven eyes he beheld her: fair, lithe, alone and poisoned. Some long lost feeling arose in him at seeing this great demon spider weaving death upon this innocent creature. Deep in his heart something snapped and at last he had a glimpse of his old self. Without thinking of any concern for his outcome he hurled himself at the bloated form of Shehob. And she raised up on her legs and attacked Stonegrip. And there the battle for Goldenrod commenced.

It is true that Stonegrip had been a great warrior in the Dark War. And he had wielded many fell weapons against the enemy and been victorious. But that had been an age ago, and he wielded no weapon now. As he and Shehob wrestled there in that dark place the very mountains trembled. Two titans clashing in the deep rock with the still form of Goldenrod, now pale, laying at their feet.

But also Stonegrip had not eaten, had not slept in ages. And though he struggled mightily he could not damage Shehob. And she, sensing the end of this threat to her lair, raised up and opened her great fangs.

And as of old, in that moment of great battle, as do all of the dwarven line, Stonegrip let out such a cry, such a piercing battle yell that the Earth trembled and the mountains themselves shook loose from their foundations. And as he saw those fangs descend upon him he cried anew and the stars in the heavens wept at the sound of a Dwarf's final battle cry.

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